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SHoP Architects to oversee radical expansion of Santa Fe art museum

SITE Santa Fe, one of the most respected contemporary arts venues in the US, will undergo a radical expansion overseen by New York firm SHoP Architects.

The museum – which runs year-round exhibitions, artistic residencies and educational programmes to foster avant-garde art – has occupied a former warehouse in the Santa Fe Railyard since its opening in 1995.

SHoP’s planned renovation and expansion will dramatically increase SITE’s size. The studio’s design covers a project area of 36,222sq ft (3,300sq m) and includes the addition of 10,000sq ft (930sq m) of new interior space. The project will break ground in August 2016 and is slated for completion in summer 2017.

In an exclusive interview with CLAD, SHoP principal Christopher Sharples said: “It’s a pleasure to be working in an area so grounded in its artistic community, and it's exciting to see such a great amount of creative energy in such a small urban environment. With our design, we want to stop the art inside the museum from being contained. Instead, we want to open it up to the community so that people are not only invited in, but the art can also come out into the public realm.”

Among the museum's new facilities will be an expanded lobby, cafe and store; an education lab for local youth groups; and a 3,000sq ft (280sq m) lecture and event space. The existing SITElab Exhibition gallery will be expanded to create a 1,800sq ft (167sq m) arts space to host international biennials.

Sharples said his firm’s design for SITE is anchored in the distinctive material qualities of the surrounding railyard – such as the ridged metallic cladding used on railway carriages – alongside a contrasting and more contemporary aesthetic. He added: “SHoP have always been very hands-on with materials we use, and we like to turn traditional materials into something unique.”

In addition to the interior renovations, new outdoor public spaces will be added to contrast with the area’s abundant brown space. A neighbouring park and a 1,740sq ft Entrance Sculpture Court will give SITE a greater presence in the landscape of the city as a whole.

Irene Hofmann, the chief curator of SITE Santa Fe, said: “In choosing SHoP Architects, we sought out an innovative firm with a strong sense of community, civic engagement and the environment. SHoP’s design of our new building addition reaffirms our important role in the contemporary art world, positioning SITE for the next generation with a bold building that matches the inspiring expressions of the artists we champion.”

The SITE Santa Fe project is the latest in a long line of high-profile projects developed by SHoP. Its other recent buildings include the multi-purpose Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn and Manhattan’s East River Esplanade.

SITE Santa Fe, one of the most respected contemporary arts venues in the US, will undergo a radical expansion overseen by New York firm SHoP Architects. The museum – which runs year-round exhibitions, artistic residencies and educational programmes to foster avant-garde art – has occupied a former warehouse in the Santa Fe Railyard since its opening in 1995. SHoP’s planned renovation and expansion will dramatically increase SITE’s size. The studio’s
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SHoP's design covers a project area of 36,222sq ft (3,300sq m) and includes the addition of 10,000sq ft (930sq m) in new interior space / SHoP Architects
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